I saw the importance of communication today.
For many years, Mr. and Mrs. Lee have rented a storage unit whenever they move.
Mrs. Lee is deaf.
I remember the first time I met them, which was the first month I started working at Storage Depot (before I started learning sign language). My boss had to write back and forth with Mrs. Lee about pricing and unit sizes.
Fast forward to now, 11 months into my learning sign language. I was able to interpret for Mrs. Lee and she came to life! She talked and talked! It was so cool to see the power of communication in action.
Knowing someone’s heart language is important, especially when you’re on the mission field.
Each of us was born with an innate desire to be known and understood. Language barriers are the biggest deterrents to connection.
I’ve received a TON of help from the deaf community because week after week I show up and try. Even when I completely mess up, my friends kindly and gently encourage me and teach me the right way. Who could guess that my bumbling efforts would be so well received? I certainly didn’t expect it!
For many of my deaf friends, though, their own parents never made an effort to learn sign language. One of my friend’s mom started learning sign once my friend was grown. As my friend shared the story with me, there were tears in her eyes.
“This is what I’ve always wanted.”
Heart language matters. If you want to make an impact learn a culture’s heart language.
And this is true of any culture–not just deaf culture.
So, for all of my friends who feel drawn to a certain country or culture, take this advice from someone who has seen the difference: Language is key.